ECONOMY

Construction the worst-hit domain

Construction has been hit harder than all other economic sectors during the Greek crisis years, with its added value dropping 78 percent within five years, while one of the biggest local firms, Michaniki, has just been forced into administration.

A recent study by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) showed that construction saw its added value lose 78 percent from 2008 to end-2013, compared to the commerce sector’s 38 percent loss in the same period.

The biggest blow has been felt by companies such as Michaniki, which specialized in public projects, as the Public Investments Program has undergone repeated cuts in the recession years, dropping to just 5 billion euros this year against more than 11 billion in 2011, in the midst of the six-year recession. Worse still, state entities have delayed payments to construction companies even after the completion of the projects conceded.

An Athens court has accepted an appeal by cement company AGET Iraklis, a Lafarge Group subsidiary, for Michaniki to be put under forced administration in order to satisfy the demands of its creditors. PricewaterhouseCoopers has been appointed as the insolvency manager to undertake all of Michaniki’s affairs.